Monthly Archives: October 2015

Smarty Dance . . . by Andrea R Huelsenbeck  

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Smarty Dance . . . by Andrea R Huelsenbeck   

The brain-dance connection.

Doing Life Together

folk dancersWhen I was a music education major at Duquesne University in the early 1970s, I took a course called Eurythmics, which used rhythmic physical movements to teach musical concepts. One facet of the course was learning folk dances from around the world. Subsequently, folk dancing is one of my most pleasant memories of my college years.

Several years ago I wanted to experience that joy again. A Google search led me to the Phoenix International Folk Dancers, a group of people who meet weekly to dance and promote folk dancing.

When I first joined the group, I found the dances difficult and physically demanding. I couldn’t execute the moves gracefully. I couldn’t keep up with the other dancers. Looking around, I noticed that most of the dancers were my age and older—some well into their 80s and 90s. And it hit me—these were people who had been dancing since they were young…

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Just for Fun

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Just for Fun

Here’s a little something I did just for fun. I recently purchased an adult coloring book.

I’m not kidding. It’s a real thing.

While I was working on the picture below, my husband, Greg, wandered into my study. “You’re not working,” he accused. “You’re playing.”

“I’m working. I’m experimenting with color!”

Greg left, shaking his head.

There is something very satisfying about coloring, watching the picture “fill up” before your eyes. It’s relaxing.

Skull

If you’d like to read further about the adult coloring phenomenon, read Jamie Jones’ article, “16 Colouring Books that are Perfect for Adults.” Or if you’d like to print out some pictures to color, see Parade’s article, “Free Download: Coloring Pages from Popular Adult Coloring Books.”

So, what do you think? Are you coloring? Or better yet, artists out there, are you making line drawings for your own coloring books? Comment below.

Video of the Week #18

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Video of the Week #18

Desert Island CDs

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Desert Island CDs

Inspired by Adopting James’ post, My Favorite CD’s, Part 1, I thought about my music collection, and decided to compile a list of the CDs I can’t live without, the ones that would make being stranded on a desert island bearable (assuming I had something to play them on).

  1. Eagles: The Very Best of. 2 CD set. Have you seen History of the Eagles? Check it out on Netflix. Here’s the trailer:

Watching it (more than once) made me realize I didn’t have nearly enough Eagles music, so I bought this CD. I also have Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 on vinyl.

  1. Martha Masters: Guitar Recital. I love classical guitar—Julian Bream, Andres Segovia—Martha Masters is by far the best. She plays so cleanly. I especially love her interpretation of J.S. Bach’s Bourée—her playfulness comes through.
  2. Redemption Church: Who We Are. Full disclosure: I used to attend this church, and one of the things I loved about it was this worship team. That said, this is NOT your typical church band album. The compositions are mostly original, performed with virtuosity, with diverse styles and a variety of instruments. This music will draw you close to God.
  1. ThePianoGuys. Really, any of their CDs would do, but if I had to pick just one, it would be their self-titled first album. I was seriously addicted to Arwyn’s Vigil for a while.
  1. Adele: 21. This is one of the very few pop albums about which I can honestly say I love every single song. The girl is amazing.
  2. The Goat Rodeo Sessions. Bluegrass played by Chris Thile on mandolin, Yo-Yo Ma on cello, Stuart Duncan on fiddle and banjo, Edgar Meyer on bass, and Aoife O’Donovan on vocals. Let me show you why you need this:

That’s it. Those are the ones I can’t live without. There are lots of other CDs that I like very much, but these are the crème de la crème.

What CDs make your Desert Island list? Share in the comments below.

Comix 3

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Comix 3

© 1996 Washington Post Writers Group

Comix 3-2

Monday Morning Wisdom #21

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Monday Morning Wisdom #21

W Churchill

From the Creator’s Heart #17

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From the Creator’s Heart #17

Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute (Genesis 4:20-21).

Introducing Hillary Noone, Protagonist of The Unicornologist

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Introducing Hillary Noone, Protagonist of The Unicornologist

Last month I posted a brief glimpse of my work-in-progress. Today I tell you a little about my main character.

Fifteen-year-old Hillary Noone lives with her father and stepmother in rural New Jersey in 1967. She’s pleasant-looking but a little nerdy, with long, dark hair and glasses. Her favorite place in the whole world is the woods behind her home, which she has roamed freely since she was small. She’s smart and studious, but she is having a rough transition with her father’s recent marriage.DSC00484

Her own mother died when she was eight. Although she misses her deeply, she and her father deepened their own relationship to get through their loss.

Hillary sees her stepmother, Kate, as a usurper, someone moving in and taking her mother’s (and even her own) place in her father’s heart.

A Western Civilizations class field trip to the Cloisters (the medieval department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art) fills Hillary with anticipation, because it combines many of her loves—of art and beauty, of history, of learning. There, while viewing the Unicorn Tapestries, she has an odd encounter with a museum guard who tells her she has been chosen to protect the unicorn.

Hillary becomes obsessed with unicorns—she studies everything she can about unicorn lore, draws unicorns incessantly, teaches herself how to needlepoint so she can make something that looks like a unicorn tapestry. Her obsession wears on the nerves of Allie, her best friend, who thinks it’s a bunch of silly nonsense. Other classmates also ridicule her, but Robin, the new boy in town, tolerates her interest and even supports her.Hillary

As the novel progresses, Hillary is forced to take a stand and to endure hardship and danger in order to complete her mission. She believes in her cause so strongly that she is willing to go it alone and even risk death to do what she’s been called to do. She develops a resourcefulness she never knew she’d need. And just when she believes she’s failed miserably, things take an unexpected turn and she discovers a revelation, with Robin’s help.

In the Meme Time: NaNo

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In the Meme Time: NaNo

Found on Pinterest:NaNo Are you participating in NaNoWriMo (for the uninitiated, National Novel Writing Month) this November?

Word Addiction

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Word Addiction

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Seven Wonders.”

Khalil Gibran once said that people will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words. What would your seven words be?

Music. Beauty. Love. Abundance. Thanks. Right. Need.

The order of my selections is not significant. I chose these words because they are central to most of my communication.

I don’t agree with Gibran that more than seven words cloud understanding. I confess, I am a word-addict. I use as many as I feel I need to make my point. Sorry, Khalil.

Photo by Dr. Marcus Gossler

Photo by Dr. Marcus Gossler